Checklist: 5 Things You Need to Do Before Launching Your Online Store

05 Oct 2015

Are you preparing your online store for grand opening? Here’s what you can do in the pre-launch phase to ensure success of your online store once it’s up and running. There is no reason to wait!

If you are into eCommerce, and you are out and about following latest updates, news and trends, you probably ran into this topic millions of times.

In almost every forum, every Q&A video, there seems to be one question appearing all the time.

First sale and when is it going to happen?

Crowded concert
“I have done everything right, I can see that there’s traffic, but no sales! Can you take a look and tell me what’s wrong?”

And community is supportive. Which is great.

If you noticed these kind of posts, then you also noticed that a lot of people take time to go throughout the website, and give their opinion whether from professional or user point of view.

With one intention – to help.

But the questions keep on coming.

What is also easy to spot, is that people rarely bothered with aftermath.

No one seemed to gave follow up once the orders started piling up.

It happens rarely that someone shares with community which one of the generous advices was the one that actually worked.

It seems like solving the problem instantly turned off empathy.

Of course the fact that it worked for you does not necessarily means that it will work for someone else.

But it might give an idea or be an inspiration.

Whatever the reason is, it seems that this will remain pretty much the eternal doubt and question.

There will always be that famous first sale, just like in the traditional brick and mortar store.

So what is it that you can do to ensure that your first sale will arrive fast after setting up everything on your store?

There is a lot of things that you can tweak in order to engage customers and make them stand in line even before online store is even launched.

Yes, you can make them stand in line online.

You probably had loads of ideas prior to engaging into opening online store.

And most definitely you wrote them down and separated them according to what needs to be done pre-launch and post-launch.

Now, when your store is ready, or nearly ready, it’s time to revise those bullets and execute them.

Start marketing your store

You have probably created Facebook Page for your business when the idea itself was born.

Use it now to announce all the amazing things that you have been working on, even though you have no actual products to show.

Create your first campaign carefully and try hard to let people know that your amazing store will be launched soon.

Facebook is a great starting point and it will surely allow you to create great base of followers. Make sure you intrigue your potential customers.

That will make them remember you and visit your store as soon as you announce it’s up and running.

This is also the right time to start building your email list, your subscribers and followers.

Not necessarily in that order, but you should try and manage it all. It can be overwhelming in the beginning, so start small.

Don’t burden yourself thinking that you have to tweet all the time, and don’t ever send spam.

Everything will slowly fit into place without you tweeting every minute.

Engage with future customers through social media

Creating your store and waiting for the first sale to happen is simply wrong.

Why don’t you try with a different perspective?

That’s right, all you need is different way of perceiving things.

Before you start your online store,  you get to go around and brag with the quality of your products.

The fun part starts! And no, no one said that that’s the easy part.

It is also hard work, but it can mean loads of fun. Open Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Start sharing your product pictures and information about your product relentlessly.

E-commerce is huge and it will become even bigger. You have to get noticed and social media is the best way to do it!

Don’t misguide your potential customers though.

You have to announce when will your store be available for them to browse and shop, so make sure you always mention that it’s coming up soon.

Otherwise, running into “under construction” notice can make your customers forget about you and never return.

Offer great content that is fun and creative and make them impatient to see your store.
Drink champagne poster

Team up!

Maybe you cannot reach influencers that you would like to reach, at this point.

You still cannot show off your store, and probably no one would reply.

Fair enough!

But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to team up with some less influential people.

Be objective and realistic when setting up your goals.

It’s definite that you cannot approach influential blogger and offer cooperation when your store has not been launched yet.

But you can find someone that already has a base of followers, no matter how small that base is.

Arrange cooperation that could be beneficial for both parties involved and persuade them that you can grow together!

Offer coupon codes

Maybe you don’t have a store, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start handing coupon codes.

Everyone loves them, and by handing them out generously, you will ensure that they come back to use them once your store is launched.

It is a perfect way to attract first couple of sales.

You can use afore mentioned tools to hand them out.

Announce it on Facebook and Twitter, and it will soon spread.

Start Blogging

Yes, your store has to have a blog, and yes, pre-launch is the best time to start.

Perceive your blog as a something that’s only yours and don’t forget that you have to start from scratch.

Use that and keep it personal.

You can attract customers with being real, sharing your concerns, and all the challenges you had to endure since you started this online adventure.

You can share your creative process that resulted in your product.

There are countless topics.

Optimise it well, use Facebook and Twitter to let your followers know that you’re writing and ensure that they follow your articles continuously.

Later on, it will be all about your products and you will probably end up giving advice to beginners.

Aside from attracting customers to your store, it can serve as a great way to capture all the moments that made your road to success interesting, and hard at times.

People will relate to you, and by giving useful advice, who knows, maybe you become influential at one point.

Whatever happens, it will be hard for your readers to avoid your store after you intrigued them with your blog posts.

You have done a good job engaging them, now secure high quality product and you got yourself your first dozens of sales as soon as you launch your store!

To sum up, there is one thing you should completely avoid – waiting for your store to be launched and completely arranged so you can engage in marketing activities.

Change the way you’re perceiving things now.

Think of all those times when you have seen something being relentlessly advertised but with no hints what the product really is.

Being mysterious can be quite a successful tactic. Make people curios, make them talk about your campaign.

Use pre-launch time wisely and ensure that once it’s up and running you will not wait long time for first orders.

Be persistent, creative and present.

Of course, the fun will start once your store is launched.

Stay tuned, we will write more advice on how to ensure sales once your store is launched.

Part two will be on our blog soon, don’t miss out!

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